I have been guiding the employable Indian youth since 2010 from the ages of 17 to 27. Since very few in the Indian society come directly in my contact, I thought of writing this blog and sharing the views on YouTube as well. The youth is facing serious challenges. Some of the challenges are known and some of them are not because of the massive false propaganda dished out by the government, “Godi media” and the BJP IT Cell spread WhatsApp shares which are believed to a large extent by their family members. The first step required to be taken by the youth is to understand India’s state at present and what is likely in the foreseeable future. Once that is understood, it will become easier to chart the future course to be adopted by the youth.
State of Economy and Jobs in India
Rise in Poverty
The NSO’s numbers show that the average Indian was poorer in 2020-21, and will be poorer in 2021-22 too, as compared to 2019-20. Also, he/ she spent and will spend less in the two years than he/ she spent in 2019-20. The per capita income and per capita consumption expenditure at constant prices in the three years were:
Per capita Per capita
2019-20: Rs 1,08,645 Rs 62,056
2020-21: Rs 99,694 Rs 55,783
2021-22: Rs 1,07,801 Rs 59,043
Rise in Unemployment
Please see the chart below. According to the CMIE, the urban unemployment rate is 8.51% and the rural unemployment rate is 6.74%. Unemployment remains the biggest challenge faced by the country.
The quality of jobs is also at stake. The percentage of salaried people has dropped from 21.2 per cent in 2019-2020 to 19 per cent in 2021, which means that 9.5 million people have become jobless or part of the informal sector.
A rise in unemployment is bad, but a fall in the labour participation rate is worse. The former reflects a shortage of jobs compared to the number of people looking for jobs. The latter reflects a fall in the number of people looking for jobs, reflecting a sense of hopelessness.
To keep pace with a youth bulge, India needs to create at least 90 million new non-farm jobs by 2030, according to a 2020 report by McKinsey Global Institute. That would require an annual GDP growth of 8% to 8.5%.
Though they represent 49% of India’s population, women contribute only 18% of its economic output, about half the global average.
“Women do not join the labor force in as many numbers because jobs are often not kind to them,” said Mahesh Vyas of CMIE. “For example, men are willing to change trains to reach their job. Women are less likely to be willing to do that. This is happening on a very large scale.”
Cumulative wealth of 142 people in the country has increased from Rs 23 lakh crore to Rs 53 lakh crore in the last two years. The total receipt of the government in 2021-22 was only Rs 40 lakh crore. The government has no plans to raise the taxes of the 142 people for the benefit of the approximately 140 crore Indians because these rich people have made BJP the biggest and richest party in the world, capable of buying MPs and MLAs and toppling opposition led governments.
Future of Economy and Jobs
Despite the massive mismanagement of the pandemic and the economy, BJP managed to win the UP elections. This indicates that despite the great economic mismanagement by the Central government, BJP is likely to win the Lok Sabha elections in 2024. This has the following implications for the future:
· Continuation of the current bad economic policies and poor-creation of jobs.
· “Amrit Kaal” will only be for Adani, Ambani and BJP. India will fail to benefit from the much celebrated “demographic dividend”.
· Modi has given seven massive blows to the economy in his seven- year misrule, namely:
o Demonetization. This caused a loss of approximately Rs 4 lac crore.
o Ill-planned GST. This caused a loss of approximately Rs 2 lac crore.
o Covid Lockdown. This caused a loss of approximately Rs 10 lac crore.
o NPAs. The banking and financial institutions (implying we people-the depositors) have experienced losses of over Rs 7 lac crore since 2014.
o Legalized Corruption. The dubious electoral bonds scheme and PM CARES Fund have legalized corruption and obviously corruption has increased in the country.
o Tax benefit to Corporate. This has caused a loss to the government revenue of approximately Rs 5 lac crore.
o Oil Tax. By collecting over Rs 22 lac crore through tax on petrol and diesel since 2014, Modi has fleeced the middle class and farmers, raised inflation and thus ensured that domestic demand does not pick up.
· Very limited FDI will get attracted because India will continue to be poor, with unattractive domestic demand because of the poor economic policies as also the divisive politics.
· Expecting consistency from Modi, it would be safe to expect at least two-three more actions by him which will further break the back of our economy. Let me not try to quantify them in numbers.
Labour Participation in India
The Centre slashed the education budget by 6 per cent, with school education taking the biggest cut. Educationists fear that the learning loss caused by the pandemic might be inter-generational, with grave consequences for the economy and society.
During 2020-21, it became painfully evident that most students had to rely on remote learning, but many faced the double jeopardy of not possessing their own computing devices and smartphones at home, and their schools remaining in the dark without such facilities. In remote areas, particularly in the Northeast, many had to travel closer to mobile phone towers to access the internet on shared phones to get their lessons. The latest data confirms that a mere 22% of schools across the country on average had internet access, while government institutions fared much worse at 11%.
The formal jobs are not more than 10 percent. There was no selection for below officer rank in the 3 Services for 2 years. The government has no plans to compensate the aspirants who missed the opportunity. There are a large number of unfulfilled vacancies in government jobs. With increasing drive towards privatization, formal jobs are set to shrink further.
Learning from My Experience
The above knowledge has been gleaned form information available in the public domain. Let me now share relevant information that I have gathered through my experience of interacting with the youth.
· English. Despite the poor state of jobs, a boy or girl who can speak decent English still gets a job in India. If the person can also write decently then the chances of getting a job go up.
· Knowledge of Core Subjects. In my 12 years of experience of interviewing numerous Mechanical Engineers, I did not come across more than 10 individuals who genuinely understood their subject. My experience of Electronics and Communication Engineers is worse. I have not come across even one person who understood communications well!
What Should Youth Do?
From the above discussion I now come to the suggestions for the youth.
· Leave India. If you have a decent education and are employable abroad, then please leave India at the earliest. Canada, Australia, US, Europe are all fine destinations to go to.
· Don’t Bank on Government Jobs. Please don’t waste time in preparation and trying for the very limited formal jobs because your chances of getting them are very limited. If you are keen to get these jobs then please have a firm and well thought out back-up plan.
· Learn English. Please forget the political focus on promotion of Hindi. English is very important in getting you a decent job.
· Core Subjects. Please know your core subjects well. It is not such a big deal. This knowledge will get you a job.
· Muslim. If you are a Muslim then work hard to get employed abroad. India has no future for Muslims, except as second- class citizens. Hindus have got against even icons like Shahrukh Khan and Shami, so there is little scope for ordinary people getting a fair deal.
· Join BJP. If you neither know your core subjects nor English and are also not good in Cricket but are a Hindu then get hold of a sword to brandish in front of Masjids on Ramnavmi and join the BJP Troll Army. If you excel in promoting hatred and divisive politics then you may one day aspire to become the PM!
–By Col M M Nehru